Monday, June 1, 2009

Can't Get to Disney World Right Now?

Then at least you can get there virtually!

I read about this on the official SketchUp blog: Disney has placed all of their parks, attractions, and resorts in Google Earth. So I tried playing with it and found that a little extra explanation is required, but it is WAY cool.

In Google Earth, make sure the 3D Buildings layer is turned on. Then find the Walt Disney World Resort layer, which is located inside Gallery / Travel and Tourism. (There is also a layer for Disneyland Paris.)

When you fly to Disney World (the one in Orland), you'll see color-coded mouse ears:

Clicking on a pair of ears will open an interactive window with info on the attraction. I also found that sometimes when I double-click on the ears, I fly to the model itself (as long as I'm not looking straight down, and I'm zoomed in a bit). But for some reason, double-clicking doesn't always work. If you can't get it to work, here's a roundabout way to fly to a specific spot: right-click on the mouse ears and save the location to "My Places." Then you can find that place on the left pane, under "Places," and double-click the place name.

But what's really amazing about the Disney layer is the excruciating detail. There must be some SketchUp modelers out there who must have double vision from their painstaking work modeling all of those trees, rocks, and benches! For example, here's Primeval Whirl roller coaster in Animal Kingdom:

Every structural and decorative piece of this roller coaster is there, and it's surrounded by accurate, 3D trees. It's hard to imagine the work that went into this!

Anyone can design anything in 3D!